Access points on home or small business networks are small, dedicated hardware devices featuring a built-in network adapter, antenna, and radio transmitter. Wireless routers for home networks include built-in access point functionality as part of the device. Standalone WAP devices also exist for both home and business use.
Although Wi-Fi connections can function without access points in so-called ad hoc Wi-Fi or peer-to-peer mode, access points support Wi-Fi infrastructure mode. Infrastructure mode bridges the wireless local subnetwork with a wired Ethernet subnetwork and also scales the wireless network to support more clients. Older access points allowed a maximum of only 10 or 20 clients, but modern APs support up to 255 clients.